Welcome to YouTube Millionaires, where we profile channels that have recently crossed the one million subscriber mark. There are channels crossing this threshold every week, and each has a story to tell about YouTube success. Read previous installments of YouTube Millionaires here.
One of the many rags-to-riches stories available on YouTube can be found on the channel run by Alonzo Lerone. Lerone, a 26-year-old who hails from North Carolina, has found an audience on YouTube by scouring through social media and offering his commentary on the best, funniest, weirdest, and most fail-worthy posts he and his fans can find. Thanks to his success, Lerone has been able to recover from losing his job by dedicating himself to YouTube full time. After he passes one million subscribers, we talked to him:
Tubefilter: How does it feel to have one million subscribers? What do you have to say to your fans?
Alonzo Lerone: I actually didn’t know I reached a million subscribers until one of my supporters tweeted me. As soon as it was confirmed I was ECSTATIC! I still am to this day. I reached a milestone I never imagined I would reach when I started my YouTube journey. I’m not one to say “fans” but I would have to say “thank you” for not only supporting me but also sticking with me.
TF: What made you first decide to launch your own YouTube channel?
AL: I only launched my account to save music to my playlist. One day I signed on to my YouTube account that I had for many months and realized the platform also included people who actually voiced their opinions. When I realized YouTube was much more than music, I decided to turn on my laptop and record my rant about my friend canceling on me the last minute. It was cool to discover that I had a place where I could express myself and voice my opinion, too. I was making YouTube videos on the side for a while but when I lost my job, I took that as an opportunity to dedicate myself to making videos full time!
TF: What is the most significant way in which you feel your videos have changed since you first started making them?
AL: I feel my videos have changed for the better. The quality is more up-to-date. The audio is in sync and the production is more engaging.
TF: Similarly, what advice would you give yourself if you could go back to the time when you first started on YouTube?
AL: I would tell my 2008 self to let loose. Stop being so professional. Add more visuals to your content and DO NOT LOSE FOCUS!
TF: What’s the most heartwarming response you’ve ever received from a fan?
AL: I’m grateful to say that my subscribers send me numerous heartwarming responses. I actually save them to give me that motivation to keep providing the content that they love. One of my supporters stated that her father was terminally ill and she put on one of my videos that made him smile, making them forget the situation they were in at that very moment. Getting those responses from my subscribers and supporters means the world to me.
TF: How do you source the material that you comment on in your videos?
AL: People actually send me the majority of my content and I react to them. At times, I find them by checking my Instagram tags, scrolling down my twitter timeline or my active Facebook feed.
TF: Do you have an all-time favorite fail video?
AL: Although I would love to say my first Fail video I did (in 2011) was my favorite, I would have to say my all time favorite FAIL video, thus far, has to be “Wendy’s ROASTING EVERYBODY!” just because I almost died from laughing so much!
TF: Do you see yourself branching into new types of content as your YouTube career continues?
AL: I have actually already been doing “new” things and also see myself providing improved content all the time. The worst thing that people can think of my channel is that it’s a one-trick pony. I love that my channel caters to everyone. Although I am very organized (with my video/series playlists) I don’t stick to just one thing..that’s just not how my mind works.
TF: What’s next for your channel? Any fun plans?
AL: I’m moving into my new house this month! By making YouTube videos I’ve been fortunate to make a living that has allowed me to buy a house, pay off my car, and also pay off my student loans. After seven years in this one bedroom apartment, I am really excited to do a house tour and even more excited that my subscribers get to see a new background. My plans are to keep on being consistent, engaging, and never forget where my channel came from.